COPMOBA - Colorado Plateau Mountain Bike Trail Association, Inc
Photos courtesy of Sarah Mah

Postcards from the President

Postcards from the President

Postcards - November 2014
November 18, 2014

Happy Fall Trail Fans,

It's been a few months since we last put out a newsletter, but things have certainly been active since that time. The chapters have all been working on either trail planning or construction activities, and importantly, we interviewed for and hired our new Coordinator, Kristina Kittelson, and have added a new member to the Board of Directors, Stephen Barnes. In this fall season, we're gearing up for significant trail activities in 2015 and using it as a time for planning and organizing.  We've also taken the opportunity to get our new Coordinator out to each of the chapters to introduce herself and to make that important personal connection to as many members and chapter committees as possible. The Coordinator serves the entire organization, and you can expect excellent and responsive support from Kristina.

The early November trail building activities in the Buzzard Gulch area in Montrose by the recently invigorated Uncompahgre Chapter was an enthusiastic wrap-up to this season. This construction sets the stage for additional activity next season, including new connections and expanded mileage to round out the riding area. The chapter submitted a proposal to IMBA for a 2015 Trail Care Crew (TCC) visit.  These visits create quite a lot of energy and are a great way to both engage the larger community via the high-profile trail activity and get valuable trail construction experience from a skilled resource. We hope the request is successful and a TCC visit is scheduled for next [more...]


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Postcards - August 2014
August 6, 2014

A recent article in an online publication came to my attention today, and it is pertinent to me personally from a couple of different directions.  The topic of the article is electric bikes, and their burgeoning identification with mountain bikes.  You may have noticed that electric-assist bikes as a segment have become prevalent over the past couple of years in the US market.  These have been much more prevalent in the European market for many years, where a more active commuter and citi-bike culture exists.  While the majority of electric-assist bikes are intended for pavement use, there is a portion of the market that is moving into off-road type of configurations.  It's these off-road electric-assist bikes that I believe may create significant issues for the mountain bike and trail communities as they (IF they) expand in numbers and availability, and begin to be found on our current trails.  I am concerned about two main issues -  the physical impact that these machines may have on trails, and probably more importantly, the planning and land use impacts of the association of electric-assisted bikes with the human powered mountain bike.

Land access, and trail planning and usage, is strongly influenced by the definition of who is using the land and trails, and how the land/trails are being used.  Associating an electric-assisted bicycle capable of off-road use will very likely complicate the process of bicycle access and trail planning.  In addition, when considering the use of powered vehicles on [more...]
Posted by Scott Winans
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Postcards - July 2014
July 7, 2014

Hi Rider and Trail Builders,

Over the past couple of years, COPMOBA has created a few changes that I believe are much for the better of the organization.  We made efforts to establish active local chapters and to make those chapters readily available to members and interested parties.  In this process, we've also created two new chapters - with the Ridgway group joining some time ago, and the Delta chapter joining just this month.  This outreach to, and involvement in, more communities is a positive step for COPMOBA as it helps to bring successful relationships and experience to more and more projects.  Along the way however, a common theme raises its head.  This theme is common to many volunteer organizations, and it's the situation where a small minority of the organization members end up being responsible for the large share of the work that gets accomplished.  I think we're all familiar with the scenario -  the same group of faces showing up the majority of the time at work days and meetings.  If you're an actively participating member of COPMOBA - Thank You.  Even if that participation is a couple of times a year, it makes a difference.  And to all of us  I pose a simple question - how can you reach out to encourage just one more person to participate actively in the organization?  What would it take to accomplish that?  And by "what would it take", I mean that on both a personal level, and on [more...]
Posted by Scott Winans
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Postcards - June 2014
June 5, 2014

In two weeks, COPMOBA will hold a celebration of our twenty-fifth anniversary as an organization.  That’s twenty-five years of dedicated efforts and results in creating trails that are enjoyed by a breadth of riders and other users in western Colorado – trails that help define the nature of lifestyle in our region and provide spaces for recreation both personal and social.
I sometimes ponder the history of trails and trail development as I ride.  The trail is there in front of me, and I enjoy experiencing it, but it took someone’s efforts to make it so.  I appreciate those efforts, in part because I’m familiar with what it takes to create these threads of passion.  But mostly I simply enjoy the moment and the terrain and the trail.  Twenty-five years of working in a consistent direction is no small feat for an organization. We’ve seen our ups and downs, but remain consistently focused on our goal of “building, maintaining, and advocating for sustainable singletrack trail and developmental features on the Colorado Plateau.”  It’s good to take a moment to consider the people, and the organization that we’ve created and sustained through the years, that conceive of and create these trails.  So to all of you that have pitched in, sat in meetings, thought “wouldn’t it be cool to have a trail from ….”, hefted tools on work days, cooked a meal for the group, donated money to the cause, talked to friends about a trail project, walked and flagged [more...]
Posted by Scott Winans
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